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Former Rwandan Commander on Trial for 1994 Murder of Prime Minister


The trial of a former Rwandan army commander accused of killing 10 Belgian U.N. peacekeepers and a former Rwandan prime minister begins Thursday in Brussels.

Bernard Ntuyahaga is charged with the April 1994 murders of Rwandan Prime Minister Agathe Uwilingiyimana and 10 peacekeepers who were protecting her.

Jury selection begins Thursday. The trial is expected to run at least until June, with more than 150 witnesses scheduled to give evidence.

Ntuyahaga is not the first Rwandan to be tried in Belgium. In 2001, a Belgium court sentenced two nuns and a Rwandan businessman to between 10 and 20 years in prison for their roles in the 1994 Rwandan genocide.

Some 800,000 people, mainly Tutsis and moderate Hutus, were massacred by Hutu extremists during the three-month killing spree.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.
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